The part of England where more people identify as Welsh than English

North Wales Walks: Chirk, Wrexham - Chirk Bank.
-Credit: (Image: No credit)


This spring brought an unexpected revelation when new census findings showed that the area in the UK with the highest proportion of people identifying exclusively as 'English' was, surprisingly, located in Wales.

The data from the most recent census highlighted that in Broughton and Saltney, a striking 38.9% of residents consider themselves solely "English", rather than Welsh, British, or of another nationality. This ranking places the two villages as "more English" than certain areas in England traditionally linked to the flag of St George - communities like Canvey Island, Newlands, and Holland-on-Sea in Essex.

Moreover, in these terms of identification, Broughton and Saltney ranked higher than other areas famously aligned with English identity, including Sutton-on-Sea in Lincolnshire.

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Conversely, North Wales Live uncovered a location within England where the number of individuals who identify as 'Welsh only', topped those who see themselves as 'English only' - nearly one out of every five made such a claim.

Indeed, similar to the findings in Broughton and Saltney, this place is situated right on the border - nestled in the peaceful countryside of rural Shropshire, reports North Wales Live.

Chirk Bank, the quaint English village in question, lies just across the border from the Welsh village of Chirk. It boasts scenic cottages overlooking canal views, originally constructed for workers of the Glyn Valley Tramway.

Its closeness to Wales perhaps clarifies why a significant portion of its inhabitants, almost one in five (18.7%), declared themselves 'Welsh only' on the 2021 census. An additional 5% acknowledged both Welsh and British heritage. Meanwhile, just 11.1% of the population chose the tag 'English only'.

The data reveals a strong sense of Welsh identity among a significant minority in the village, with a higher percentage identifying as 'Welsh only' than in Broughton and Saltney (13.5%) in Wales. However, the largest group identified themselves as 'British only', at 48%.

In Chirk Bank East, the story was similar, with 15.6% identifying as 'Welish only' and an additional 8.3% as both Welsh and British. This is compared to 7% who identified as 'English only' and 9.6% as English and British.

In nearby St Martins, 16% identify as 'Welsh only', compared to less than 10% who say 'English only'.

As expected, these figures are significantly lower than in some of the Welsh language heartlands - for example, more than 81% in Llanwnda near Caernarfon identify as 'Welsh only', with just 6% identifying as 'English only'.

Just over the border in Chirk itself, nearly half of residents (46%) classify themselves as 'Welsh only', compared to 14% as 'English only'.